James O'Brien

I am a contributing editor/writer/troublemaker for NBC's Pro Hockey Talk blog.

Here’s the full order of picks for the 2016 NHL Draft


The Carolina Hurricanes and Chicago Blackhawks reminded us that there’s still time for some picks to change hands, but the NHL’s official list of 2016 NHL Draft selections remains handy nonetheless.

As far as how to watch it: note that the first round will be televised by NBCN on Friday, June 24 at 7 p.m. ET. Teams will fire off picks for rounds two through seven on Saturday, starting on NHL Network at 10 a.m. ET.

(Sportsnet carries coverage in Canada.)

Anyway, here’s the full list of picks as of Wednesday, via the NHL’s press release:

Round 1
1. Toronto
2. Winnipeg
3. Columbus
4. Edmonton
5. Vancouver
6. Calgary
7. Arizona
8. Buffalo
9. Montreal
10. Colorado
11. New Jersey
12. Ottawa
13. Carolina
14. Boston
15. Minnesota
16. Detroit
17. Nashville
18. Philadelphia
19. NY Islanders
20. Arizona (from NYR)
21. Carolina (from LAK)
22. Winnipeg (from CHI)
23. Florida
24. Anaheim
25. Dallas
26. Washington
27. Tampa Bay
28. St. Louis
29. Boston (from SJS)
30. Toronto (from PIT)

Round 2
31. Toronto
32. Edmonton
33. Florida (from VAN)
34. Columbus
35. Calgary
36. Winnipeg
37. Arizona
38. Buffalo
39. Montreal
40. Colorado
41. New Jersey
42. Ottawa
43. Carolina
44. Tampa Bay (from BOS)
45. Montreal (from MIN via BUF)
46. Detroit
47. Nashville
48. Philadelphia
49. Boston (from NYI)
50. Chicago (from NYR via CAR)
51. Los Angeles
52. Philadelphia (from CHI)
53. Arizona *
54. Calgary (from FLA)
55. Pittsburgh (from ANA via VAN)
56. Calgary (from DAL)
57. Toronto (from WSH)
58. Tampa Bay
59. St. Louis
60. San Jose
61. Pittsburgh

* compensatory pick – ARI did not sign 2014 1st-round pick Conner Bleackley (acquired in trade with COL)

Round 3
62. Toronto
63. Edmonton
64. Vancouver
65. Columbus
66. Calgary
67. Carolina (from WPG)
68. Arizona
69. Buffalo
70. Montreal
71. Colorado
72. Toronto (from NJD via PIT)
73. New Jersey (from OTT)
74. Carolina
75. Carolina (from BOS)
76. Buffalo (from MIN via FLA, NJD, ANA)
77. New Jersey (from DET)
78. Nashville
79. Philadelphia
80. Ottawa (from NYI)
81. NY Rangers
82. Philadelphia (from LAK)
83. Chicago
84. Edmonton (from FLA)
85. Anaheim
86. Buffalo (from DAL)
87. St. Louis (from WSH)
88. Tampa Bay
89. Buffalo (from STL)
90. Dallas (from SJS)
91. Edmonton (from PIT)

Round 4
92. Toronto
93. Anaheim (from EDM)
94. Florida (from VAN)
95. Chicago (from CBJ)
96. Calgary
97. Winnipeg
98. NY Rangers (from ARI)
99. Buffalo
100. Montreal
101. Toronto (from COL)
102. New Jersey
103. Ottawa
104. Carolina
105. New Jersey (from BOS)
106. Minnesota
107. Detroit
108. Nashville
109. Philadelphia
110. NY Islanders
111. San Jose (from NYR)
112. Los Angeles
113. Chicago
114. Florida
115. Anaheim
116. Dallas
117. Washington
118. Tampa Bay
119. St. Louis
120. San Jose
121. Pittsburgh

Round 5
122. Toronto
123. Edmonton
124. Montreal (from VAN)
125. St. Louis (from CBJ)
126. Calgary
127. Winnipeg
128. Arizona
129. Buffalo
130. Buffalo (from MTL)
131. Colorado
132. New Jersey
133. Ottawa
134. Carolina
135. Boston
136. Boston (from MIN)
137. Detroit
138. Nashville
139. Philadelphia
140. Vancouver (from NYI via FLA)
141. NY Rangers
142. Los Angeles
143. Chicago
144. Chicago (from FLA)
145. Washington (from ANA via TOR)
146. Dallas
147. Washington
148. Tampa Bay
149. Edmonton (from STL)
150. San Jose
151. Pittsburgh

Round 6
152. Toronto
153. Edmonton
154. Vancouver
155. Columbus
156. Calgary
157. Winnipeg
158. Arizona
159. Buffalo
160. Montreal
161. Colorado
162. New Jersey
163. Ottawa
164. Carolina
165. Boston
166. Calgary (from MIN)
167. Detroit
168. Nashville
169. Philadelphia
170. NY Islanders
171. NY Rangers
172. Philadelphia (from LAK)
173. Chicago
174. Florida
175. Florida (from ANA)
176. Dallas
177. Washington
178. Tampa Bay
179. Toronto (from STL)
180. San Jose
181. Pittsburgh

Round 7
182. Toronto
183. Edmonton
184. Vancouver
185. Columbus
186. Calgary
187. Winnipeg
188. Arizona
189. Buffalo
190. Buffalo (from MTL)
191. Colorado
192. New Jersey
193. NY Islanders (from OTT)
194. Vancouver (from CAR)
195. Boston
196. Minnesota
197. Detroit
198. Nashville
199. Philadelphia
200. NY Islanders
201. NY Rangers
202. Los Angeles
203. Chicago
204. Minnesota (from FLA)
205. Anaheim
206. Tampa Bay (from DAL via EDM)
207. Washington
208. Tampa Bay
209. St. Louis
210. San Jose
211. St. Louis (from PIT)

Stars announcer Dave Strader diagnosed with cancer

via Dallas Stars

The Dallas Stars shared awful news on Monday: play-by-play announcer Dave Strader was diagnosed with cancer.

The team did not provide other details about Strader’s condition, but both the team and the widely regarded announcer released statements.

First, here is what Strader said:

“I realize I have a challenge and fight ahead of me. With my wife Colleen and our family, along with the full support of the Dallas Stars organization, we are ready to meet this challenge. We don’t have to look very far for inspiration as Bekki Nill has shown us all how to meet this dreaded disease head-on. Personally, her example will serve as a great guide. I want to thank everyone for their support as I proceed with treatment.”

This is the Stars’ statement:

“The Dallas Stars are deeply saddened to learn of Dave Strader’s cancer diagnosis. As he goes through his treatment, all of our thoughts and prayers are directed to Dave, his wife Colleen, their son Christopher and his wife Karen and daughter Sydney, their son Casey and his wife Dr. Mary, and their son Trevor. We wish Dave a full recovery and will support him through his battle.

“Dave’s work in both local markets and on the national stage have made his voice synonymous with hockey to fans all over the globe in his 36 years in the booth. We know that he’s touched a lot of people throughout his career thus far and those wanting to send well-wishes are encouraged to send Dave a note at WellWishesForStrader@dallasstars.com.”

His current Dallas Stars broadcast partner Daryl “Razor” Reaugh tweeted this:

Strader began working with Reaugh and the Stars during the 2015-16 season. Before that, he was a longtime NBC sports play-by-play announcer.

Plenty of other people from around the hockey world are sharing their best wishes.

No doubt, Justin Schultz has a new lease on life

Being traded from the Edmonton Oilers to the Pittsburgh Penguins in 2016 would be an upgrade for just about any player, yet few needed a change more than Justin Schultz did.

The hyped defenseman was largely a bust in Edmonton, and as Schultz noted to the Hockey News, Oilers fans let him know it.

“It’s not a lot of fun getting booed in front of your home fans,” Schultz said. “It’s pretty tough to enjoy yourself when that’s happening.”

Schultz admits that he made a fake Twitter account because his actual profile drew so much heckling. Yeah, that’s pretty bad.

Now, Schultz hasn’t been a superstar for the Penguins, but he’s been able to help a defense that seems to pull off the opposite of his Edmonton experiences. With the Oilers, Schultz was often exposed; in Pittsburgh, the Penguins have the luxury of maximizing the strengths and minimizing the weaknesses of the likes of Schultz and other seemingly flawed defensemen.

More specifically, Pensburgh clarifies that the Penguins boast Kris Letang, a defenseman who can make Schultz’s life easier.

Those numbers are a touch outdated, yet the point is clear: the Penguins are able to protect Schultz, allowing him to flourish.

NHL GMs may want to note the “buyer beware” signs there as Schultz may hit free agency, but the defenseman himself is likely just happy to enjoy playing hockey again.


Schultz is just one example of how the Penguins reinvented their lineup through trades

Maple Leafs’ Sparks shares heartfelt message after Orlando shootings

1 Comment

Plenty of people are horrified by the mass shooting in Orlando, but those events hit especially close to home for Toronto Maple Leafs goalie Garret Sparks.

As Sparks has been pursuing his career going up and down the Maple Leafs’ depth chart, he’s spent parts of multiple seasons with the ECHL’s Orlando Solar Bears. He’s played chunks of seasons with them since 2013-14.

Sparks is also an American-born player, hailing from Illinois.

With all of that in mind, it’s no surprise how personally Sparks took the news.

He went further, too, speaking his mind about the issue in a follow-up tweet:

Again, Sparks wasn’t alone in sharing his thoughts, with former NHL defenseman Ryan Whitney also being very candid.

Plenty of other teams and players weighed in, albeit without the controversy, including the Florida Panthers and Tampa Bay Lightning:

Tyler Johnson also shared his condolences.

For more on that situation, follow NBC News’ coverage. (Puck Daddy also addressed Sparks’ comments.)

Still no Tomas Hertl for the Sharks in Game 6


It may not come as a big surprise, but Tomas Hertl still isn’t ready to play for the San Jose Sharks.

He won’t be available for Game 6 of the 2016 Stanley Cup Final, but there’s no word on whether he’d be ready if the Sharks can force a Game 7 against the Pittsburgh Penguins (which would come on Wednesday).

“Hertl is making progress, getting better every day,” Peter DeBoer said. “[He] won’t play tonight, no.”

As PHT discussed before, the Sharks aren’t outright saying he’s done until next season, even if rumors indicate as much.

Hertl brings a lot to the table, especially when he combines with Joe Thornton and Joe Pavelski.

While he’s missed, the good news is that the Sharks have seen other forwards step up, including lesser-known guys like Melker Karlsson and Joonas Donskoi.